Yankees close to signing first baseman

Updated: December 31, 2003, 4:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Free-agent first baseman Tony Clark and the New York Yankees were close to a deal Wednesday that was contingent on his passing a team physical.

"We haven't signed anything," agent John Boggs said. "There are a few things to straighten out, but we're moving in a positive direction. We're hopeful we'll get it done shortly."

With regular Jason Giambi coming off knee surgery, the Yankees have been seeking a first baseman since trading Nick Johnson to Montreal in the deal that brought pitcher Javier Vazquez to New York.

Clark, a switch hitter, spent last season with the New York Mets, batting .232 with 16 home runs in 254 at-bats. He has a career batting average of .268 with 175 home runs in nine major league seasons, the first seven with Detroit.

On the Vazquez front, the only holdup in the Yankees signing him to a four-year, $45 million contract extension is owner George Steinbrenner's approval, the New York Daily News reports.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.